It’s not going to get any easier for the 76ers.

With 18 games to go in the season, the Sixers need to go 17-1 to finish with a .500 record. In other words, it looks like it’s going to be a losing season for Doug Collins’ crew.

To complicate matters, there are very few pushovers remaining on the Sixers’ schedule. Of the final 18, the Sixers have just six home games, a pair of four-game road trips and seven games against teams in first or second place.

The tough stretch comes after the Sixers became the Heat’s 20th straight victim on Wednesday night and continues on Saturday when they face the Pacers and next Monday against the Trail Blazers. After that, the Sixers play 12 of their final 16 on the road, starting with a four-game Western Conference trip in which they will play the first-place Clippers and second-place Nuggets on consecutive nights.

With the Sixers’ CEO already talking via Twitter about draft lottery Ping-Pong balls (see story), what hope should anyone else have?

Here’s where it gets a bit surreal ...

Despite acquiring Andrew Bynum during the offseason, the Sixers are 21st in the NBA in winning percentage. They are just 10 games ahead of the Charlotte Bobcats for the worst record in the NBA and 9½ games (including the tiebreaker) behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the final playoff spot in the East.